A NO-NONSENSE SEO GUIDE FOR BLOGGERS

NOTE : A 10 MINUTE READ.

This post is for everyone who wishes their blog/work to be seen and recognized by Google, Yahoo, Bing, Live.com or any other search engine. We all wish for our work to be recognized by people all over the world. And as a fellow struggling person whose blog has reached more than 100 countries worldwide, I am here to teach/share my 7 SEO tips.

Stay with me on this one.


The last time you searched something on Google, can you remember how many “results” came up?

While writing this post I decided to do a search to see how many it would pull in. I searched for “pizza place” (note to self, don’t write while hungry), and it pulled up 233,000,000 results!

Think about that! That is almost a quarter of a BILLION different sites Google could have chosen to show me. So how does it decide which are the most relevant?

SEO, or Search Engine Optimization, is a strategy to get your website at the top of the list and to be easily seen when someone types in a specific topic in a search engine such as Google, Yahoo or Bing.

Sound too technical? It’s okay, I’m going to share some tips to help you optimize your content for search engines.

Google has these little things called “spiders” that “crawl” your website looking for clues for what you are talking about on that page.

If this is your first time thinking about SEO you may be like, “what is this woman talking about?!” but I promise, stick with me and it will make sense!

Google has to have these clues that will help them identify what your pages contain the most relevant information, so there are strategic practices for where to include keywords for your post.

SEO may seem overwhelming, but it doesn’t have to be! In this post, I am going to share some easy ways to optimize your blog posts for search engines so you can start getting more organic traffic! The following tips will help improve your SEO, but it’s also important that you continue to produce high-quality content because that is the single most important factor in getting good search engine traffic.


 

 

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NOTE — THIS POST CONTAINS LINKS. ALL THE TIPS INCLUDED HERE ARE FOR THE YOAST SEO PLUGIN AVAILABLE FOR WORDPRESS. I AM NOT GOING TO INCLUDE ANY IMAGES. THIS WILL AVOID DISTRACTION AND WILL HELP YOU UNDERSTAND THE MATERIAL THOROUGHLY. I PROMISE THIS WILL HELP ALL NEW + BLOGGERS BLOGGING FOR SOMETIME NOW, TO HELP GAIN TRAFFIC TO THEIR BLOG AND UNDERSTAND HOW TO REACH MORE PEOPLE.

FINAL ADVICE – KNOW THE “WHY’ OF YOUR BLOG. AS IN, WHY YOU WANT TO BLOG, WHY DO YOU BLOG AND WHY YOU WANT TO REACH MORE AUDIENCE.

HERE ARE MY PERSONAL 7 TIPS.

here we go…

 


1. INSTALL AN SEO PLUGIN

Yes, it is possible to create a search engine optimized blog post without using a plugin, but honestly, the plugin makes things a lot easier.

As per the recommendation of many bloggers, I use the Yoast SEO plugin and quite frankly, I love it.

The Yoast SEO plugin is totally free, as is everything I mention throughout this post! That just goes to show you that generating organic search traffic for your blog won’t cost you a penny!

An SEO plugin allows you to:

  • Edit and modify meta description and titles
  • Easily create your own sitemap
  • Have crawl-able categories and tags
  • Verify your different social media accounts
  • Keep an eye on general SEO factors

If you’re anything like most people, you might not understand what any of that means. But the good news is that you don’t really need to understand it because Yoast does it all for you.

To install the plugin on WordPress, go to your Plugins, click Add New, search for Yoast SEO, install it and then activate. For more information on how to set up the plugin, I definitely recommend checking out this post from WPBeginner that goes into much further detail.


2. USE LONG TAIL KEYWORDS TO OPTIMIZE YOUR BLOG POSTS FOR SEARCH ENGINES

What is a long tail keyword?

A long tail keyword is a 3+ word phrase that is specific to your blog post. There is less competition for long tail keywords because they are searched for less.

For example, when I wrote “I AM: THE POWER OF POSITIVE AFFIRMATIONS“, I used the long tail keyword “I AM: THE POWER OF POSITIVE AFFIRMATIONS” rather than a short keyword like “AFFIRMATIONS.” That’s because there are so many other websites already ranking for “AFFIRMATIONS” and my blog would most likely never rank for it.

If you think no one is searching for your long tail keyword, think again. According to Google, 15% of all Google searches are completely unique!

I know it’s so much easier to think of a keyword as one single word, but in reality, that’s now how we use Google (or other search engines) to find relevant content. More often than not we type in a long tail keyword (a three-word phrase) when we want to find more information online. For example, if I’m looking for information on throwing a kids’ birthday party with a princess theme, I will probably type in “kids princess birthday party” or something similar, rather than just putting in “kids’ birthday.” In other words, the long tail keyword allows you to get more specific in your search and will probably give you better results.

The same principle applies to your blog posts when thinking of SEO. If you want to target a specific person searching for a specific topic, BE SPECIFIC! Using long tail keywords will increase the chances that your post will match what someone is looking for and will allow you to rank higher in search engines for certain topics.


3. INTERLINK WITHIN YOUR POST

Interlinking is when you add links from your other existing posts to your current one. Most bloggers preface this link with ‘Related’ or include it naturally into the body of their text.

If you can, choose posts that also contain your keywords to some degree.

There are a number of plugins that help to automate this process, or you can do it manually. Personally, I’d advice the old school method of doing it manually.


4. IMPROVE YOUR URL

Having an SEO-friendly URL is essential for your search engine visibility and social shares.

Your URL should be easy to read, include your keywords and be free of any stop words.

Never keep your Permalink settings on default.

If you’ve never changed your Permalink settings (it is in the common settings section of your WordPress account) in WordPress, then perhaps your URL slug ends with something like /p=123. This is not doing you any favors. Head into your Permalink settings and tick off “Post Name” instead of “Default.”

You can take this post as an example of a good URL slug. I am using “/seo-for-bloggers” – which looks simple and contains one of my keywords.

If I used something like “/the-best-seo-tips-for-bloggers-the-ultimate-guide”, it would be truncated by search engines and I would miss out on my getting my keyword noticed. Plus, it doesn’t look very nice to share on social media!

Never change the URL on a post that you’ve already published.

If you change the URL on a published post, anyone who clicks on the link through a search engine will be sent to a 404 error page. You definitely don’t want that to happen! So try to get it right the first time.

If you must change the URL, then read this article from Shout Me Loud to make sure you do it correctly.


5. INCLUDE KEYWORDS IN YOUR BLOG TITLES’ META DESCRIPTIONS

Once you have included a mix of your short and long tail keywords to your content, plant them in other places where it counts:

  • URL slug
  • Title
  • Meta description

Your URL slug is the wording after the forward slash on your domain and acts as a name tag unique to that particular page on your website. For example, this page’s URL is https://eclipsedwords.com/seo-tips-for-bloggers/ with the URL-slug being seo-tips-for-bloggers

Your post title is where people will look to first on a search results page, so make sure it’s eye-catching and includes your most important keywords!

Your meta description is the short summary or “snippet” that appears underneath your post title on search results. Make sure to keep it short and sweet, including your keywords and clearly telling people how you can help them if they were just to click on your link.

If you need help editing titles and meta descriptions, or you’re not sure if you’ve included your keywords correctly, I’d always suggest using the Yoast plugin. It has a free and paid version (I’ve found the free version to be sufficient for my needs so far) and it’s great for showing you how you can improve SEO on your post. When your content SEO is very good, it gives you the ‘green’ light.


6. ADD ALT TEXT TO IMAGES

The written part of your content is not the only place where you can improve your SEO. Images included in your content can also serve as additional blaring red flashlights helping search engines to find you and increase your ranking.

Search engines like Google can’t see images in the same way us humans can. Alt text (alternative text) is a way of describing the image to Google in a way it can understand so it can factor them in when ranking your domain page.

When you add or edit an image, you’ll usually find a section labeled ‘Alt text’. Make sure to include a combination of short and long tail keywords in here to improve your SEO. The Yoast plugin can also help here to ensure you’re using the right keywords.


7. USE THE GOOGLE SEARCH CONSOLE

Google has a free tool, the Google Search Console, that can help you better understand your organic traffic. The search console lets you know what keywords have resulted in traffic to your site so you can create more content around the same topic. Moz has some great info on how to best use the Google Search Console.

The first thing you need to do is add your site and verify it in the console. You can easily do so with Google Analytics or by adding the HTML code to your header (I like to use the Insert Headers and Footers plugin). If you make a lot of changes to your blog and want to see them reflected sooner in search engine results, you can ask Google to “fetch” your site again. The search console is also helpful for uncovering any errors Google encounters when it crawls your site.


PERSONAL TIP –

The search analytics is very helpful for tracking the number of clicks, impressions, click-through rate, position, etc. for different keywords and the traffic they drive to your blog. I would HIGHLY recommend getting acquainted with this analytics report and looking at what terms you rank for. If you are already ranking highly for certain keywords, creating additional content centered around those terms can result in more traffic to your blog!


 

And to end here’s the summary of the SEO best practices you should include to your checklist of things to do before you press publish:

  1. Choose your short (2-3 word phrases) and long (3+ word phrases) tail keywordsrelevant to your post subject
  2. Include your keywords in the following places:
    1. Title of the post
    2. URL slug
    3. First paragraph
    4. One of the main headings within body of text (H2 headings)
    5. Meta descriptions
    6. Alt texts within images
    7. Internal links to preexisting posts on your blog
  3. Make sure your images are optimised for Google ranking

Feel free to ask any questions or share your ideas in the comment section below. Alternately, I’d really appreciate for you to share this content on your social media platform if you found it useful so that others can benefit from it too. If you have any doubts or want a personal clarification, send me an email on eclipsedwords@gmail.com. For more inspiration, fun, and smiles, follow me on Instagram

Happy Blogging! ♥♥♥


Thank you for reading. Love you for that! ♥

—–Have Hope. Keep Faith—–

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ECLIPSEDWORDS BY AISHWARYA SHAH | NOVEMBER’2018 | ALL RIGHTS RESERVED ©

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